Due to the international nature of maritime transport, this can only work efficiently if there is a set of regulations and rules agreed, adopted and applied at international scale, a process that is conducted by the IMO.
Among the conventions driven by the IMO, the following are noteworthy:
1. The Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels
The Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels was adopted in 1977 and its main purpose was to establish a common regulation for the safety of the fishing vessels. This convention includes safety requirements for the building and equipment of new seagoing fishing vessels (with a deck and 24 metres in length and above) and stability requirements. This convention did not take effect because it did not collect the approvals and adhesions needed.
For this reason, the IMO decided to elaborate a protocol to amend this convention. During the international conference celebrated in Torremolinos in 1993, the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol was adopted, but this protocol did not take effect neither.
Finally, the Cape Town Agreement of 2012 adapted the rules of the 1977 Convention and its 1993 Protocol to facilitate its entering into effect and make its general application possible.
2. Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the Implementation of the Provisions of the 1993 Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977
The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 plays an important role improving the security rules and reducing the loss of human lives in the fisheries sector.a.
The Cape Town Agreement collects international compulsory requirements for the stability, construction and associated navigability of fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above, as well as requirements for rescue devices, communications team and fire protection.
This agreement will take effect 12 months after the date in which a minimum of 22 countries, having at least 3600 fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above operating on the high seas, have expressed their consent to be bound by it.
3. International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)
The Convention prescribes minimum standards relating to training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers at international scale.
In 1995 a revision and an update of the Convention were carried out through a series of amendments, dividing the technical annexes into regulations and incorporating a new Training Code (Part A of the Code is mandatory while Part B is recommended). This revision allowed the IMO to oversee the administrative, training and certification procedures of the Parties to the Convention.
The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code were adopted in 2010 after a major revision of the STCW Convention and Code. These amendments have the purpose of updating the Convention and Code regarding the progress that had been taking place since these instruments were initially adopted and to enable them to address issues that are anticipated to emerge in the foreseeable future..
After a series of revisions of the STCW Convention, in 1995 the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) was adopted. It applies the STCW principles to fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above of the ratifying states.
This agreement aims to promote the safety of human life at sea and the protection of the marine environment through international standards.